Central African Republic – IOM in the Central African Republic (CAR) has released its 10th return intention survey. The survey is an integral part of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which has been actively tracking population movements, humanitarian gaps and responses in CAR since 2013.
According to the survey, more than 75 percent of male respondents and 78 percent of female respondents indicated their wish to be able to leave their displacement site, citing access to housing, return of national security forces, presence of national administration and functioning social services as their main priorities.
About 70 percent of respondents wished to return to their area of origin, while about 28 percent intended to leave the displacement site to settle elsewhere, due to sustained trauma in the area of origin, possibility to settle with family members or returning to villages outside urban settlements.
The survey clearly shows a change in trends: while previously security in return areas was one of the main factors hindering return, respondents now said that a lack of access to markets and the absence of functioning health facilities as their top priorities. This was followed by their wish for a visible return of national security forces (police, gendarmes and military).
While the vast majority of the displaced population has returned spontaneously from displacement sites since 2013, the still-displaced population indicates that it needs help to return to traditional income generating activities (54 percent) and access to shelter (27 percent). This is a significant improvement from the last return intention survey from September 2015.
For the first time, the survey went beyond the capital Bangui and analysed return intentions in areas of high displacement throughout the country (Ombella, M’Poko, Lobaye, Nana-Gribizi and Ouham), in both spontaneous displacement sites and with host families.
The aim of the study is to provide detailed information to the new authorities and the international community to contribute to a sustainable and well-informed approach to voluntary and dignified return and camp closures. It also identifies the factors that the displaced population themselves see as conducive to return.